Pride at stake for Allardyce
PERSONAL pride will be driving Sam Allardyce to ensure his Wanderers side knock out Joe Royle's high-flying Ipswich Town today, writes Derek Davis.While the Bolton boss is determined that the FA Cup does not cost the Trotters their Premiership status he would love to get even with Royle.
PERSONAL pride will be driving Sam Allardyce to ensure his Wanderers side knock out Joe Royle's high-flying Ipswich Town today, writes Derek Davis.
While the Bolton boss is determined that the FA Cup does not cost the Trotters their Premiership status he would love to get even with Royle.
Allardyce smiled and said: "Joe has won the FA Cup and I haven't. The closest I got was a semi-final as a player.
"Joe is no doubt in the same mood as me when it comes to the cup.
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"Our seasons have a bigger importance than just a cup game. Our goal is to stay in the Premiership and finish as high up the league as we can. Joe's will be getting them back in the Premiership."
While Ipswich top the Championship and look on course for promotion, Bolton are mid-table in the Premiership but just nine points away from Norwich who occupy the highest of the relegation places.
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Allardyce is aware of the significance of a cup run but made it clear where his priority lays.
He said: "I once got stick for not fielding a full-strength side in the past but I know that four years of keeping us in the Premiership has been worth £80m.
"A cup run is not insignificant in terms of money but is worth around £4m."
Allardyce and Royle have been adversaries and friends for a long time and he is an admirer of what the Town boss has achieved at Portman Road.
Allardyce said: "We are facing a team that is top of the Championship which is a magnificent achievement by Joe Royle in such a short period of time.
"He has had to deal with all the financial problems and they have had to come through administration, so to get them top is a no mean feat.
"Nigel Worthington did well at a similar-sized club but he had more stability than Joe has and Joe has turned them round quicker."
With a hectic holiday period just completed, Allardyce will be rotating his squad significantly.
He admitted: "There will be one or two changes, just enough to rest a few people that are reaching fatigue levels after four games in nine days.
"But that doesn't mean this game won't be a bit special. I will put out a very strong side although it won't be the side I put out against Birmingham. There will be no kids.
"The experience will be good enough. Whether the application or attitude on the day will be – we will have to wait and see."
Keeper Kevin Poole is expected to replace Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Striker Kevin Davies has recovered from a hamstring injury and will be included in the squad but El-Hadji Diouf is understood to be spearheading a three-man attack.